Richard Sepolio: Pandemonium as a driver under the influence loses control of his pick-up truck and plummets off the San Diego-Coronado Bay bridge onto a crowded park below.
Richard Sepolio a 24 year old Navy serviceman, under the influence, Saturday afternoon drove off the San Diego-Coronado Bay bridge into a crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts at Chicano Park, in the process killing four people and injuring 9 persons.
A report via the sandiegotribune told of two of the nine injured suffering major trauma, including Sepolio, with witnesses rushing to the driver’s aid telling them to contact his commander at a nearby naval base.
Richard Anthony Sepolio was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, according to the California Highway Patrol.
‘It’s horrible. Its horrific,’ CHP Officer Jake Sanchez said during a press release. ‘Innocent people were down here having a good time.’
An update by Monday told of Sepolio being charged with manslaughter with authorities also releasing the name of his four dead victims: Cruz Contreras, 52, and Annamarie Contreras, 50; and Andre Banks, 49, and Francine Jimenez, 46.
The heavily injured navy man is likely to be arraigned from his hospital bed sometime this week.
Police and paramedics swarmed to the busy park when officers reported casualties among visitors. The injured were taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital, UC San Diego Medical Center and Sharp Coronado Hospital.
At the time of the accident, Sepolio was driving in a tan pickup truck heading northbound on Interstate 5, a four lane freeway to go west on the bridge when he lost control over his vehicle and went airborne. The man’s vehicle crashed about 3:45 p.m. in front of a stage where a rockabilly band was playing.
KFMB reported the pick-up truck going through a tree before hitting the ground.
The incident led to the CHP closing the I-5 north access to the bridge while eastbound lanes remained open, with the westbound side was expected to be closed into the evening.
The names of those who died have yet to be released. The California Highway Patrol said they were a man, 62, and a woman, 50, from Chandler, Arizona, and a man, 59, and a woman, 49, from Hacienda Heights, California.
At the time, hundreds of motorcyclists had gathered in the Logan Heights park for the La Raza Run with many witnessing crash.
‘I saw a truck come right off the freeway. It was going so fast it flew over the stage and landed in front of the stage on a tent, a booth that was set up,’ said Chase Dameron, who was about 30 feet away.
He said four people in the booth were crushed by the pickup.
Adding: ‘It was like a movie. It was like in slow motion,’
‘Where it hit, there was dust and debris and instant chaos and panic. People running crazy.’
Added witness, George Rodriguez, ‘It’s something I won’t forget as long as I live.’
Richard Sepolio is expected to be dishonorably discharged from the Navy.
— Jeff Lasky (@10NewsLasky) October 15, 2016
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) October 15, 2016
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 16, 2016
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) October 16, 2016